Pragya Thakur finally appears in NIA court
Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon in north Maharashtra on September 29, 2008.Updated: Jun 08, 2019, 00:23 IST
Appearing in a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Pragya Singh Thakur on Friday denied having any knowledge of the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts.
This was her first appearance in the court since Thakur, an accused in the case, won the Bhopal LS seat in the just-concluded general elections. The last time she had appeared in the court was during framing of charges in the case in October last year.
Seven persons, including Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, are facing trial in the case.
Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon in north Maharashtra on September 29, 2008. The police claimed, the motorbike was registered in Thakur’s name and that led to her arrest in 2008.
The Bombay High Court granted her bail in 2017.
The NIA court on Friday started recording statements of the accused as it completed recording testimony of the witnesses. The first question the court asked was how many witnesses have been examined by the prosecution in the case so far and if she knew what they said. Thakur replied in negative.
The court posed the same question to another accused, Dayanand Pandey alias Sudhakar Dwivedi and Sameer Kulkarni. Swami told the court that around 116 witnesses have been examined so far.
The court has so far recorded statement of victims of the blast, relatives of those killed and other witnesses who claimed there was a blast on September 29, 2008, around 9.30pm near Bhiku Chowk, in Malegaon. When the court sought the response of the accused, Thakur said she had no knowledge of the incident. Swami too denied it. However, Kulkarni said it’s a fact that there was a blast.
The judge had last month directed all the accused, including Thakur, to appear before the court at least once a week.
On Thursday, her lawyer told the court she is suffering from high blood pressure and is unable to travel to Mumbai from Bhopal. The court granted her exemption for the day and asked her to appear before it Friday.
The accused are facing trial under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Indian Penal Code and the Explosive Substances Act.
(With inputs from PTI)